For fans playing DraftKings' daily fantasy baseball on Tuesday, there are a number of excellent starting pitcher possibilities. The trick, obviously, is getting the most bang for your buck. With so many quality options to chose from, how does one decide which two pitchers to go with?
Here are five of the best MLB pitcher picks for June 2, coming in at a variety of different price levels.
Max Scherzer ($12,000) vs. Toronto Blue Jays
At $12,000, Max Scherzer is the most expensive pitcher on the board—but his performance to this point easily backs up his cost.
Through 10 starts in 2015, Scherzer is averaging 29.2 fantasy points per outing. By that rate, he'll give you 2.43 points per $1,000. For comparison, Johnny Cueto's $10,400 price is Tuesday's second-highest. With an average of 21.4 fantasy points per game, Cueto produces 2.06 points for every $1,000 spent.
Scherzer's 1.51 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 85 strikeouts all rank in the top three in baseball for each category. Among the 20 league leaders in innings pitched, his 10 total walks are also the third-fewest.
If you're still not sold on Scherzer, his career numbers against the Blue Jays are quite difficult to ignore.
Scherzer will take up a huge chunk of your payroll, but his value is worth the risk.
Chris Archer ($8,900) at Los Angeles Angels
With an average of 24.0 fantasy points per game this year, Chris Archer is a bargain at under $9,000. There are four starting pitchers on Tuesday that cost more than Archer, despite the fact that there are also only four pitchers in all of baseball who are holding opposing hitters to a lower batting average than he is.
Archer's 82 strikeouts are the fifth-most in MLB, while his 0.99 WHIP ranks 10th.
In his last start, Archer outdueled Felix Hernandez with a spectacular eight scoreless innings, in which he surrendered two hits and zero walks while striking out 12. If it weren't for the hard-luck no-decision, Archer's fantasy points, and subsequent price tag this week, would be even higher. His performance that afternoon put Archer in DraftKings' daily perfect lineup.
Shelby Miller ($8,300) at Arizona Diamondbacks
Given his stats so far this year, Shelby Miller is a steal for $8,300. As noted in the above graphic, Miller's .175 batting average against is the lowest in baseball. His 1.48 ERA is also tied with Zack Greinke for No. 1 in that category, while his 0.88 WHIP is second only to Greinke's 0.87.
If there's one thing you can be absolutely certain of, Miller will put his team in position to win. He's lasted at least six innings in eight straight starts and has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any outing this season.
Miller doesn't strike a lot of guys out—just 49 in 67 innings—but his other numbers more than make up for it.
Alfredo Simon ($6,100) vs. Oakland A's
Over nine starts in 2015, Alfredo Simon is scoring an average of 16.6 fantasy points per game. At $6,100, he's good for 2.72 points for every $1,000—a higher production value than Scherzer.
After becoming a regular starter for the first time with the Cincinnati Reds last year, Simon has blossomed into a highly effective pitcher. In 41 games since the beginning of 2014, he's 20-12 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
On Tuesday, Simon will have the added bonus of taking the mound at home.
Also worth noting, this will be Simon's first game back in action following time on the bereavement list for the death of his father. Don't be surprised if there's a little extra juice on his fastball.
Mike Wright ($4,800) at Houston Astros
If you're in need of a pitcher at a bargain price, Mike Wright may be just what you're looking for. The 25-year-old rookie's entire major league career consists of only three starts—the first two, however, were nothing short of spectacular.
In his third time out, Wright yielded three earned runs on six hits in five innings, but he didn't walk a batter. Over 19.1 innings, he's given up a total of 13 hits and only three walks.
Despite the first-place Astros' 32-20 record, a visit to Houston is not as daunting a task for an opposing starting pitcher as it may seem. The club has a better winning percentage on the road, .652, than it does at home, .586. Houston's .225 home batting average is also the worst of any team in baseball.
Statistics courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.
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